Sullivan and Thacher Proffitt benefit from US mortgage woes

New York’s Thacher Proffitt & Wood is advising US bank IndyMac while Sullivan & Cromwell is advising Fannie Mae on its possible government bail out.


Sullivan and Thacher Proffitt benefit from US mortgage woesNew York firm Thacher Proffitt & Wood has won a leading role in relation to the collapse of US bank IndyMac while Sullivan & Cromwell is advising US mortgage group Fannie Mae on its possible government bail out.

Thacher Proffitt has been brought in to act as legal counsel to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the government body that assumed control of the bank after it collapsed last week.

Thacher Proffitt’s structured finance practice group chair Steve Kudenholdt is leading the firm’s team advising the FDIC.

At Sullivan & Cromwell chairman Rodgin Cohen is acting for Fannie Mae as the US Treasury seeks permission from Congress to extend credit lines to it and its counterpart Freddie Mac. It is not clear who is acting for Freddie Mac.

Californian bank IndyMac was shut down last week by the US Office of Thrift Supervision with the FDIC named conservator. The bank has been reported as being one of more than 20 US banks currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for suspected mortgage fraud.

Under the government takeover scheme, the FDIC will operate IndyMac with a view to maximising its value for a future sale while maintaining banking services in the communities it formerly served.

Thacher Proffitt’s high-profile mandate is much-needed by the firm, which is one of those hardest hit by the credit crunch as a result of its heavy dependency on structured finance.

The firm did not return calls for comment.